Bob Marley, live in session at The Record Plant in Sausalito and broadcast live over KSAN-FM San Francisco and hosted by the legendary Tom Donohue.
As Donohue points out, Reggae really didn’t take off in America until Marley arrived. There were hints at it throughout the 60s; Millie Small (The Bluebeat Girl) with My Boy Lollipop in 1964, Desmond Dekker and The Aces with Israelites in the late 60s. But those were only two singles, out of the vast warehouse of music coming from Jamaica, or from London via Kingston, where they had a huge Jamaican population.
But when Bob Marley first got everyone’s attention, the flood gates opened and America had its love affair with all-things Jamaica from around 1972 well into the 80s.
And at the crest of that wave was Bob Marley. With a career that began in 1963, Bob Marley, along with The Wailers already had a well-respected reputation throughout the Caribbean and the UK. But it was his signing to Island Records in 1972 that turned things around on a worldwide scale.
This session, part of a U.S. tour to promote Burnin’, the album which included the iconic I Shot The Sheriff, which became a huge hit for Eric Clapton and further added to Marley’s successful career as a songwriter.
The Wailers broke up in 1974, but Bob Marley put together a new Wailers and continued his string of successes which included what was considered his breakthrough album Rastaman Vibration, breaking into the top 50 Billboard Soul charts. He would continued this string of successes until his untimely death in 1981 at the age of 36 from Malignant Melanoma which he had since 1977.
Bob Marley’s music is still popular, some 36 year after his death. The Reggae tradition continues from a wide range of musicians, including Marley’s own son Ziggy, who formed The Melody Makers with two of his sisters, and continues as a solo artist.
It’s hard to imagine not being familiar with the music of Bob Marley – but in the off chance you aren’t, here’s a good place to start.
Hit “play”, lively up yourself and don’t be no drag.